Sample Recommendation Letters? : The B-School Application
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# Sample Recommendation Letters?

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Director
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18 Oct 2006, 15:05
Hey Guys,

When I planned out my application timelime I didn't consider that I might be writing my own recs. Now I have to (for my recommenders of course) and I'm sort of lost. Any good starting points here that would let me see what these typically look like?
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18 Oct 2006, 15:07
dukes wrote:
Hey Guys,

When I planned out my application timelime I didn't consider that I might be writing my own recs. Now I have to (for my recommenders of course) and I'm sort of lost. Any good starting points here that would let me see what these typically look like?

I have no samples, but you could try a google search. Another option is to get your recommender to sign in to the system and tell you what the questions are - and then just try and answer them.
Director
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18 Oct 2006, 18:14
rhyme wrote:
dukes wrote:
Hey Guys,

When I planned out my application timelime I didn't consider that I might be writing my own recs. Now I have to (for my recommenders of course) and I'm sort of lost. Any good starting points here that would let me see what these typically look like?

I have no samples, but you could try a google search. Another option is to get your recommender to sign in to the system and tell you what the questions are - and then just try and answer them.

Just to know the questions, you could just create a ficticious email account and add that as one of your recommender...and you got the questions. Pick up montauk or another similar book which will have sample recos..
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Director
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18 Oct 2006, 18:32
Sorry, I didn't articulate my problem very well. I have access to the questions...most are available on the web. My problem is that I've never written a recommendation myself, and I only have a vague notion of what a b-school rec should look like. My recommenders have asked me to basicly draft out the letters that they will then edit before sending out. I don't really have a framework for writing my own rec. Unlike the actual essays, there doesn't seem to be alot of info out there about what these are supposed to look like.

Thanks
Manager
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18 Oct 2006, 19:27
Hope this will help:

Search for "margaret"

Click on the first result (page 302), and read the next few pages. This should give you a good idea - keep in mind that this is a VERY long and detailed recommendation. (The author says so himself).
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19 Oct 2006, 23:14
Hi, guys. I am about to prepare my letters of recommendation as well, but do business schools verify who wrote them? The reason I ask is this - all of the business schools that I am applying to require that the letter be completed on a business/company letterhead with personal contact information. Is this because they actually speak with the recommenders? I actually have a recommender that doesn't want to be bothered by admissions committees, so he was very reluctant (still is) to give his personal contact information. I mean, I would think that admissions committees verify this information; otherwise, isn't there potential to majorly make up some recs? Any thoughts on this?
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19 Oct 2006, 23:47
My reaction is that if your recommender isn't enthusiastic about assisting you with your application, it would be smart to try to get someone else to do it. A lukewarm recommendation or reaction to contact will certainly reflect badly on your candidacy.
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20 Oct 2006, 04:15
candylynn83 wrote:
Hi, guys. I am about to prepare my letters of recommendation as well, but do business schools verify who wrote them? The reason I ask is this - all of the business schools that I am applying to require that the letter be completed on a business/company letterhead with personal contact information. Is this because they actually speak with the recommenders? I actually have a recommender that doesn't want to be bothered by admissions committees, so he was very reluctant (still is) to give his personal contact information. I mean, I would think that admissions committees verify this information; otherwise, isn't there potential to majorly make up some recs? Any thoughts on this?

Run away from this recommender. He must give his contact information. It's everywhere on the forms - they ask YOU for it (some schools accept just email, others want you to input phone #'s too) - they ask him for it when he fills it out, and it should be in the letter itself too.

As such, I'd urge you to reconsider.

And yes, I know that many many schools do verify recommenders. In fact, the GSB actually goes insofar as telling you - it's got its own special status "Recommendations Verified:" ...

If this person is just lazy...

Then maybe have a chat with them. But if they are so lazy so as not to accept a single phone call, I'd wonder if they are making excuses.
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20 Oct 2006, 07:56
Hey guys,

I have a related question. One of my recommenders has poor english skills. Tho I will be "helping" him with the writing part. But would the committee be suspicious if they find the person to have a poor command of english?

Thanks.
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20 Oct 2006, 08:02
fluffydot wrote:
Hey guys,

I have a related question. One of my recommenders has poor english skills. Tho I will be "helping" him with the writing part. But would the committee be suspicious if they find the person to have a poor command of english?

Thanks.

I dont think theyll be "suspicious" - it just wont make the rec as strong as it could be.

I'd have him put something in the letter apologizing for the lack of eloquence, but english is not his primary language. Something like "I must first apologize for my English, as it is not my first language. This letter may thus seem less strong than those you recieve from native english speakers, but I trust you will understand that this should not be construed as in any way reflective of my support of Fluffydot. Despite my shortcomings in this regard, I will try to convey as best I can just how strong a candidate fluffydot is."

Another option would be to have him write it in whatever language he chooses, then have someone (not you) translate it.

At the top put a statement like:

"This letter was written in LANGUAGE by me, Mr. X, but as I do not have a command of the English language, it has been translated by my peer, Mr Y. Please accept this letter in support of ..."

I imagine it happens a lot with international candidates.

Alternatively, pick up the phone, call the school and ask them for advice.
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20 Oct 2006, 12:17
Hmm thanks for the advice. As always, you are way ahead of the game.

I will probably go with option #1, but it made me laugh a little bit. Cuz the way you wrote that paragraph about his english not being good... it infact makes his english sound really good! lol

I am going to see if he can write just as strong a rec without using "complicated" english.

bahh.. maybe I will just use another ref... I hate this process
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20 Oct 2006, 12:45
fluffydot wrote:
Hmm thanks for the advice. As always, you are way ahead of the game.

I will probably go with option #1, but it made me laugh a little bit. Cuz the way you wrote that paragraph about his english not being good... it infact makes his english sound really good! lol

I am going to see if he can write just as strong a rec without using "complicated" english.

bahh.. maybe I will just use another ref... I hate this process

Well yes I guess my sample was a bit too eloquent

"I english no speak well, very. I hence no can say very well what fluffydot do for me and you or he. But know I great candidate as flufflydot. Please you understanding my like him very very much. I work on team with fluffydot who no good work. He work until outside it no light. Moon shine down on him every day. I know fluffydot great for you because I see fluffydot on working with heavy all day. I say to fluffydot, "You hard work." He say "Yes, I love the working." So says I to him and you if he no want work for me then great students.

Fluffydot one of besting workers at factories. This year, when factory explosion cause horrible disaster, fluffydot walk into fires and saves little mother. Mother screaming because fire on face. Fluffydot know to save mother because fluffydot many skills brings. Fluffydot pours muriatic acid for mother stopping fire. Save day. People give fluffydot big pumpkin for hero he know she is.

I am happy to fluffydot because he study for MBA. I knows when the fluffydot study he also very happiness. For instance, when I ask fluffydot why buttons of jeans he sow not perfect, he tell me sweatsshops in America no caring for buttons. I understand he say no more hours. But I tell fluffy, 30 more cents and he buy loaf of bread.

Fluffydot get angry and burn factory. This seem bad, yes? But no. Underneath factor polizien finding $40 million US and twenty kilogramennes of cokeaine. I tell fluffydot, you entreprenuer? Fluffy say yes. Fluffy make cokaine sale to man named Manuel. Manuel speak spanish I say, to fluffy you say tell manuel$20 million.

Fluffy big entrepenuer. He get \$25 million.

So I happy burn down factory fluffy yes. Fluffy have great burning. I chant with fluffy in native language, "BEURN, BEURN, FACOTIERIEN! NEIN! SHAADI DAWT COM?"

Fluffy very goodest candidates for you mba. I know fluffy. Accept fluffy. Love fluffy."
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20 Oct 2006, 13:15
rhyme wrote:
fluffydot wrote:
Hey guys,

I have a related question. One of my recommenders has poor english skills. Tho I will be "helping" him with the writing part. But would the committee be suspicious if they find the person to have a poor command of english?

Thanks.

I dont think theyll be "suspicious" - it just wont make the rec as strong as it could be.

I'd have him put something in the letter apologizing for the lack of eloquence, but english is not his primary language. Something like "I must first apologize for my English, as it is not my first language. This letter may thus seem less strong than those you recieve from native english speakers, but I trust you will understand that this should not be construed as in any way reflective of my support of Fluffydot. Despite my shortcomings in this regard, I will try to convey as best I can just how strong a candidate fluffydot is."

Another option would be to have him write it in whatever language he chooses, then have someone (not you) translate it.

At the top put a statement like:

"This letter was written in LANGUAGE by me, Mr. X, but as I do not have a command of the English language, it has been translated by my peer, Mr Y. Please accept this letter in support of ..."

I imagine it happens a lot with international candidates.

Alternatively, pick up the phone, call the school and ask them for advice.
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20 Oct 2006, 13:30
jaynayak wrote:
rhyme wrote:
fluffydot wrote:
Hey guys,

I have a related question. One of my recommenders has poor english skills. Tho I will be "helping" him with the writing part. But would the committee be suspicious if they find the person to have a poor command of english?

Thanks.

I dont think theyll be "suspicious" - it just wont make the rec as strong as it could be.

I'd have him put something in the letter apologizing for the lack of eloquence, but english is not his primary language. Something like "I must first apologize for my English, as it is not my first language. This letter may thus seem less strong than those you recieve from native english speakers, but I trust you will understand that this should not be construed as in any way reflective of my support of Fluffydot. Despite my shortcomings in this regard, I will try to convey as best I can just how strong a candidate fluffydot is."

Another option would be to have him write it in whatever language he chooses, then have someone (not you) translate it.

At the top put a statement like:

"This letter was written in LANGUAGE by me, Mr. X, but as I do not have a command of the English language, it has been translated by my peer, Mr Y. Please accept this letter in support of ..."

I imagine it happens a lot with international candidates.

Alternatively, pick up the phone, call the school and ask them for advice.

?
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20 Oct 2006, 13:55
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20 Oct 2006, 13:59
jaynayak wrote:

See my less eloquent version above.
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22 Oct 2006, 13:30
LOL, rhyme, you make my day.

But joking aside, what IF that is the kind of letter I get from my ref? Would it be less credible? or more credible because even someone who has difficulty with english took so much trouble to praise me?

I should just go with another ref who can write eh.
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22 Oct 2006, 13:47
Personally, I believe that unless your recommenders language is atrocious, the original language and presentation of the recommender will make a better version than the sanitized one. For one, it makes it fairly apparent that it was not influenced and was written voluntarily. Secondly, even with a poor language, the recommendation might have gems in it that the adcoms will recognize.

fluffydot wrote:
LOL, rhyme, you make my day.

But joking aside, what IF that is the kind of letter I get from my ref? Would it be less credible? or more credible because even someone who has difficulty with english took so much trouble to praise me?

I should just go with another ref who can write eh.
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23 Oct 2006, 01:43
haha, Rhyme, you made me hurtingly laugh...
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23 Oct 2006, 06:15
darren1010 wrote:
haha, Rhyme, you made me hurtingly laugh...

Happy to help!
23 Oct 2006, 06:15
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